Reih Bleeaney Vanannan cultural award for 2008 goes to Brian Stowell

Wed, 16 Jan 2008

The Foundation's Chairman, the Hon Anne Craine MHK, presenting the Reih Bleeaney Vanannan to Dr Brian Stowell
The Foundation's Chairman, the Hon Anne Craine MHK, presenting the Reih Bleeaney Vanannan to Dr Brian Stowell
The annual cultural award made by the Manx Heritage Foundation, the Reih Bleeaney Vanannan, has been given to retired teacher and broadcaster, Dr Brian Stowell. The award was presented by the Foundation's Chairman, the Hon Anne Craine MHK to Dr Stowell in the Millennium Room in Legislative Buildings in front of family and friends. Brian Stowell was born in Douglas in 1936. He was educated at Murray's Road School, Douglas High School and Liverpool University, where he took a BSc (Hons) degree in physics in 1958. He worked as a physicist in England, gaining a doctorate in applied physics. He later was a lecturer at the John Moore University in Liverpool. In 1991 he came home to the Isle of Man to take up the newly created post of Manx Language Officer with the Department of Education. Before leaving the Island to go to university Brian had learned to speak Manx by going round with a group who were making sound recordings of the last old native speakers. He has written several Manx courses and published many articles in and about Manx and Celtic matters in general. After retiring from the Department he continued to be active in the Manx Gaelic revival by teaching, writing. He broadcasts widely on Manx Radio on a weekly basis on a wide range of Manx subjects. He is a tireless translator of Manx material, producing articles, books, and courses. His contribution to the teaching of Manx is both important and unrivalled. He received the Reih Bleeaney Vanannan award after being nominated by members of the public, and Mrs Craine said it was a richly deserved honour for someone who had contributed so much to the cultural life of the Isle of Man. Dr Stowell was asked to name a local Manx cause to which a donation of £500 would be made by the Foundation, and he chose the Manx Language group Mooinjer Veggey who run the Manx Gaelic school at St John's.